An Iowa Delegate’s Experience At The Convention So Far

Iowa delegate Josh Hughes is writing up his experience at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Here’s his takes from the first two days. We’ll update throughout the week on this post: Day 2 Hello again! Tuesday proved to be a very busy day indeed again. We began with breakfast with speakers Amy Klobuchar, the Senator from Minnesota, Tom Harkin, and a surprise special visit from Bernie Sanders! It was awesome to hear these three progressive champions address our delegation. We also began the paperwork for our official roll call votes for president. The Iowa Democratic Party asked us to […]

The View From The Iowa Delegation At The Democratic Convention

After a rather rocky start to the Democratic Convention, the first evening ended on a positive note with strong speeches from Cory Booker, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. I’m not personally at the convention myself this week (cost too much and I haven’t raised enough for Starting Line’s regular operations yet – probably for the best, as I’m home sick with a nasty, painful virus), but we’ll have live looks into proceedings from delegates there. Here’s two quick takes from some Iowa delegates, along with some great video footage of what it all looks like on the floor […]

Why Western Iowa Keeps Voting For Steve King

After two straight weeks of Steve King racial controversies, much of the country is once again asking: how on earth does this man keep getting reelected? It’s an understandable conundrum about a Congressman who displays a Confederate flag on his desk, who repeatedly defended his belief that white Christians contributed more to civilization than any other “sub-group,” along with his many other past controversial statements. King has made a career out of outlandish and inflammatory rhetoric, often on racial topics. It’s diminished his role in his party in Congress and he’s come under criticism from fellow Republicans at times. And […]

Chuck Grassley Doubts TPP Will Pass Anytime Soon

During a visit to Emmetsburg on late Friday afternoon, Senator Chuck Grassley expressed doubt that the Trans Pacific Partnership would become reality anytime soon. While the trade agreement is expected to benefit Iowa’s agricultural exports , concerns over workers rights, environmental protections and manufacturing have stalled its advancement. “It’s my feeling that right now TPP is very much tied to the politics of the presidential race,” Grassley said in response to a farmer’s question about TPP and NAFTA. “Even though President Obama wants TPP passed, since both President Trump… I mean, Trump and Hillary have come out against it, one […]

Ted Cruz Positioned Himself Well For 2020 General, Not Just Primary

Oh, Ted Cruz. Never change. The Texas Senator stole the scene last night at the RNC convention by refusing to endorse Donald Trump in his speech. If there was any doubt why, he followed it up this morning by saying he wouldn’t be a “servile puppy dog” by endorsing a man who personally attacked his wife and father. The focus today is what it means for conservative voters in 2016 and Cruz’s almost-certain run in the Republican primary again in 2020. But Cruz achieved much more than positioning himself as the true conservative who wouldn’t follow Trump into terrible defeat. […]

Chuck Grassley Sets All-Time U.S. Record For Obstruction

The long-serving Senator from Iowa set a record yesterday, though one many won’t be happy about. Tuesday marked 125 days since President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, with Senator Chuck Grassley still refusing to hold a hearing for him. The last time it took 125 days for the Senate to take action on a nominee was in 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson nominated Louis Brandeis. There’s been a lot of important milestones in this Supreme Court process, but yesterday’s certainly outdid them all. Senator Grassley will now be forever known as the worst obstructionist in all of […]

Clinton And Democrats Build An Army In Iowa For November

While the media’s spotlight will be solely fixed upon the Republicans and Democrats’ conventions this week and next, the behind-the-scenes campaign efforts go forward on the ground in Iowa. And like in many other swing states key to winning the presidency, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have built a huge operation here to turn out voters. Clinton’s campaign sent a small handful of key operatives from her Iowa Caucus operation back to the state starting in April. Kane Miller, Clinton’s Regional Field Director for Polk County during the caucus, worked behind the scenes until being named the Clinton state director […]

Joni Ernst Gets Shafted At RNC, Probably For The Best

By the time Iowa Senator Joni Ernst finally took the stage at the RNC convention last night, the crowd in the arena was smaller than what she would typically find at a Montgomery County chili dinner. Ernst began her speech around 11:10 PM Eastern, missing out on the primetime spot she was supposed to have. It may have been for the best, however, as she proceeded to give a so-so speech that failed to capitalize on the former combat veteran’s personal appeal. The lead-up to her big moment must have been excruciating for Ernst. Melania Trump was moved up on […]

Steve King Goes Full Racist – Says Whites Contribute Most To Civilization

When news emerged last week that Iowa Congressman Steve King displays a Confederate flag on his desk in his official office, most had a pretty good idea why. King removed all doubt in an interview today on MSNBC. The seven-term Congressman from Western Iowa, well-known for often using racially-charged language, joined Chris Hayes for a panel discussion about the Republican convention. They began with King talking about his past support for Ted Cruz, but how the Congressman was encouraged by the people Donald Trump was starting to surround himself with, and how they might influence his thinking on policy. Then the […]

The Scenarios For Tom Vilsack As Clinton’s Vice President

After weeks of discussing Tom Kaine, Elizabeth Warren, Tom Perez and Sherrod Brown, a familiar Iowa name emerged in the vice president nominee debate for Democrats: Tom Vilsack. The current Secretary of Agriculture and former two-term Iowa Governor has reportedly been vetted by Clinton’s team. Those of us in Iowa understand why he’s still in the mix. Vilsack comes with an inspiring biography – placed in a Catholic orphanage in Pittsburgh, he was adopted and grew up in Pennsylvania before working his way through law school. His wife, Christie, took him back with her to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where he […]